First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 27

the forgiving kind by Donna Everhart
Reminiscent of the novels of Lee Smith, Kaye Gibbons, and Sandra Dallas, Everhart builds a firm sense of place, portraying the tiredness and hope of a dry southern summer and voicing strong southern women.” 

Booklist on THE FORGIVING KIND

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I remember sixth grade, of being keenly aware what others thought about what I wore, the way I talked, and what I said, in other words, how I was perceived. There’s a name for this feeling when it feels as if all eyes are on YOU. It’s called the “imaginary audience.” This is normal, a transitory part of growing up, but can make some kids super sensitive as they worry over what everyone else thinks about them.

Once a child develop this awareness, and depending on the sensitivity of a child, it might have little, if any affect on the way they behave, or it can be crippling. Everything matters. Yet, for example, I still did dumb things to bring attention to myself. Like talking in class and getting called on by the teacher to answer a question when I was clearly not paying attention, then spending the rest of the day mortified when I ventured to guess the answer and got it wrong. Those little things can be crushing, like everyone now thinks you’re dumb, at least until the next day when it seems as if some sort of emotional reset button is pressed.

My main protagonist, Sonny Creech, and her best friend, Daniel, are right at the age when this sort of behavior and self-awareness develops. They’re twelve. Twelve can be such a tender, awkward time, where on top of the emotional complexities beginning to take hold, physiological changes may have also started. Sonny and Daniel have never had an uncomfortable moment between themselves in the six years they’ve known one another. But as the story progresses, and time goes on, that painful self-awareness brings about a change.

Chapter 27

When I think back on it now, the time at the water tower was a turning point, a moment when I’d realized my ability to divine water hadn’t left me, and confirmed Daniel had, in some way.

***Unbelievably, we are only seven weeks away from the ON SALE date for the book, January 29, 2019. 

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